In the News March 25
International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination
Militant Actions Across Canada Demand Rights
and Status for All
To mark the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, actions were organized in communities across Canada that were coordinated with actions in Jamaica, Cayman Islands, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines as well as Trinidad — countries from which seasonal agricultural workers and other migrants come to Canada each year. The action reflected that in today’s world, the working class in international. The protesters also opposed the division of workers into arbitrary categories to be exploited and abused by employers driving down the wages, working conditions and safety of all workers.
The actions also called for rights of the Indigenous peoples to be respected and upheld, as well as supporting the fighting Palestinian people, the people of Yemen and others. It was also pointed out that refugees from India, Africa and the Middle East leaving Ukraine were being rejected by NATO countries such as Romania and Poland while Canada is fast-tracking Ukrainian refugees in the name of high ideals, while many working class migrants in Canada from Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean are denied status year after year, which reflects the racist outlook of the Canadian state and its governments.
The main theme of the actions which were organized by the Migrant Rights Network and their affiliate organizations was the rejection of the racist immigration and refugee policies of the Canadian state and the private interests it serves, and to demand equality, rights and permanent status for the estimated 1.6 million migrant workers, stateless workers, undocumented refugees and their families living in conditions of virtual slavery, fear and insecurity in Canada. The right of agricultural workers who come to Canada from the Caribbean to status for them and their families was also raised in the course of the actions. The plight of the more than 150,000 international students in Canada who are lured here with the promise of a rosy future and then find themselves on an endless treadmill trying to find work that qualifies them for permanent residence, being paid less than minimum wage or not at all, were all highlighted in the day of action.
Gig workers, international students, care workers, and others spoke about their own experiences of living and working in Canada, many on the front lines under the adverse conditions of the pandemic. Various workers highlighted that the pandemic has been used by employers to further abuse and exploit them and deny them basic rights to wages, decent working conditions and safety in the work place. They pledged to continue to work together as part of the Canadian working class for their rights and the rights of all.
The Migrant Rights Network announced that more actions will be organized for May Day 2022.
Workers’ Forum, posted March 2X, 2022.